Tony Stewart is paying tribute to one of his team’s drivers who was killed last week in a senseless tragedy.
Ashlea Albertson was a driver for Tony Stewart Racing in the TQ Midget series, last competing for the team on August 11.
But on August 18, Albertson was in the passenger seat of a GMC Terrain driven by a 31-year old male on the highway near Seymour, Indiana, with a Chevy Malibu driven by a 22-year old in the right lane. Video from the scene shows both vehicles accelerating and refusing to let the other pass, when the Malibu began to change lanes and clipped the Terrain.
The driver of the vehicle Albertson was riding in lost control and spun, colliding with the Malibu and flipping over, with Albertson being ejected in the crash. She was taken to the University of Louisville Hospital for treatment, where she was pronounced dead after arriving.
The accident is under investigation, with officials working to determine whether either of the drivers will face charges.
Albertson’s father Todd posted a tearful video on her Facebook page announcing his daughter’s death:
“Ashlea was involved in an accident today on the highway, and Ashlea has succumbed to her injuries.
This is one of the hardest posts that I could possibly make, but I have no words to put it out other than making a video to share with everybody who loved her and that she loved in return.
I want to thank you from my family, from myself, for making her feel like she was the best racer out there each and every time that she took the track. We appreciate you, we love you, and I’m sorry to inform you this way, but I think it’s only fair that everybody knows and there be no speculation moving forward.
She was a good kid, a better person, and she just loved racing. She loved the community, and you all have done so much for her.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
And her team owner, four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, also paid tribute to Albertson after her death:
“Today, I lost a teammate. [Ashlea Albertson] had an infectious personality and could light up any room. She was a great race car driver that was involved in a road rage accident and lost her life. In the past, I’ve also gotten caught up in road rage. I hope that we can honor Ashlea by controlling what we can control on the highway. Losing her is a sobering reminder of how precious life is. Please join me in keeping her family and friends in your prayers.”
Today, I lost a teammate. @AshDogRacing had an infectious personality and could light up any room. She was a great race car driver that was involved in a road rage accident and lost her life. In the past, I’ve also gotten caught up in road rage. I hope that we can honor Ashlea by… pic.twitter.com/mnvPYeujWf